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The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

The third race of Day One at The Cheltenham Festival is The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase. Day One, also known as Champion Day, is the first of the four-day meeting that makes up The Festival.

Originating as The National Hunt Chase in 1860, The Festival did not take permanent residence at Cheltenham Racecourse until 1911 where it has remained since. Today, over 250,000 spectators descend on The Cheltenham Festival to witness history in the making over its four-day period.

Throughout the duration of The Cheltenham Festival, horseracing fanatics get to witness 28 elite races, including featured races The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy on Day One, The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase On Ladies Day, The Ryanair Steeple Chase and The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle on St. Patrick’s Thursday, and the biggest of all, The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase on Gold Cup Friday.

The Cheltenham Festival 2021 will take place from Tuesday the 16th until Friday the 19th of March featuring Champion Day as the first day of the event.

About the Race

Run on the ‘old course’ at Cheltenham and covering a total distance of 3 miles and 1 furlong, The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase is open to horses aged 5 years and above and consists of 20 fences to be jumped.

The Festival Trophy Handicap Chase has been sponsored by Ultima Business Solutions since 2015 but had been sponsored by the likes of Baylis & Harding, William Hill, The Ritz Club and many more since the early 1980s.

Several horses have gone on to win The Grand National within a few years of winning The Festival Trophy Handicap Chase, including Royal Tan, Team Spirit, West Tip, Seagram and Rough Quest.

The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase will be the third race of Champion Day on Tuesday the 16th of March, beginning at 14:50.

Runners

The top 10 predicted runners and their ante-post odds for The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase at The Cheltenham Festival 2021 are the following:

  1. Dickie Diver (IRE) – 8/1 ante-post favourite – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-1 (29/12/20) – trained by Nicky Henderson
  2. The Conditional (IRE) – 10/1 ante-post odds – will be 10 years old – weighing in at 11-1 (19/12/20) – trained by David Bridgwater
  3. Coko Beach (FR) – 10/1 ante-post odds – will be 7 years old – weighing in at 10-6 (28/01/21) – trained by Gordon Elliott
  4. Kildisart (IRE) – 12/1 ante-post odds – 9 years old – weighing in at 11-5 (28/11/20) – trained by Ben Pauling
  5. Dashel Drasher (GB) – 12/1 ante-post odds – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-10 (23/01/21) – trained by Jeremy Scott
  6. Jerrysback (IRE) – 12/1 ante-post odds – 9 years old – weighing in at 11-0 (23/01/21) – trained by Philip Hobbs
  7. Vinndication (IRE) – 14/1 ante-post odds – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-11 (28/11/20) – trained by Kim Bailey
  8. One For The Team (GB) – 14/1 ante-post odds – will be 8 years old – weighing in at 10-11 (30/01/21) – trained by Nick Williams
  9. Discorama (FR) – 14/1 ante-post odds – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-6 (15/11/20) – trained by Paul Nolan
  10. If The Cap Fits (IRE) – 14/1 ante-post odds – 9 years old – weighing in at 11-0 (23/01/21) – trained by Harry Fry

Tips

As one of the seven races on the racecard of Champion Day at The Cheltenham Festival, The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase attracts a lot of attention from more than just the usual horseracing fanatics. 

Everybody wants to get involved with this magical event, so with the help of our knowledgeable tipsters, people can make the right decisions on the day without having a metaphorical degree in contemporary horseracing or the history of Cheltenham Racecourse.

We look at the horses and their form, their trainers, their jockeys on the day, the length of the races, the state of the ground, the weather and much more to ensure we point punters in the direction of the appropriate horses.

Odds

The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase has had some very impressive odds over the years, with favourite starting prices being 5/1 and higher.

In 2019, the shortest odds among the favourites was 8/1, meaning an £80 profit from a £10 bet on any of the joint-favourites. Even then, it was 10/1 Beware The Bear that stole the title, which would have returned 10x your stake in profits for an outright bet.

In 2018, Coo Star Sivola was the favourite with a starting price of 5/1. A £20 bet on this Nick Williams trained horse to come out on top would have returned £100 in profits.

Previous Winners

Here are the previous 4 winners of The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase, including their odds, closest competitors and race stats:

2020

The Conditional came out on top in 2020 with a starting price of 15/2, ridden by jockey Brandan Powell and trained by David Bridgwater.

This was an exhilarating race that only saw 13 of the 23 runners make it to the finish, with 10/1 Kildisart taking second place and 11/2 Discorama finishing third.

2019

Going back a year further it was 10/1 Beware The Bear that won the £61,897 first-place prize, ridden by jockey Jeremiah McGrath and trained by Nicky Henderson.

The 2019 edition of The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase had no clear favourite with several of the 24 runners being given the joint shortest odds of 8/1.

2018

5/1 favourite Coo Star Sivola won the £62,645 first-place prize from The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase in 2018, ridden by jockey Lizzie Kelly and trained by Nick Williams.

14/1 Shantou Flyer rallied hard for the final 100 yards to take the lead but was held off and finished in second, followed by 7/1 Vintage Clouds in third.

2017

9/1 8-year-old Un Temps Pour Tout was under a lot of pressure in the final stages of The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase in 2017 but held on to earn the win. Un Temps Pour Tout was ridden by jockey Tom Scudamore and trained by David Pipe.

5/1 favourite Singlefarmpayment finished second in a race where only 15 of the 23 runners made it to the end.

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